WMU breaks ground on new water treatment plant

Published 11:08 am Friday, March 16, 2018

Winchester Municipal Utilities commissioners and city commissioners broke ground Thursday morning on the site of the new water treatment plant.

Judy Construction Company of Cynthiana was awarded the contract in November. The company will build the new water plant on the property near the Lower Howard’s Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant off Boonesboro Road.

Mike Anderson, chairman of the WMU commission, said this project has been in the making for about 20 years. The project initially had to be postponed years ago because of funding issues, he said.

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Mayor Ed Burtner said while the project may be expensive, totaling around $20 million, it is vital to the community.

“A project like this is critical for public safety,” Burtner said. “(The project) is big, and it is generational. You do them, and you are ready for the future, and this is what this project is all about.”

WMU General Manager Michael Flynn said WMU expects to complete the project in March 2020.

The new water plant will be designed to provide 9 million gallons of water per day (MGD), allowing WMU to treat the water more thoroughly. The current plant, parts of which are more than 100 years old, can process about 5 MGD at absolute maximum capacity.

Upon completion of the new plant, the original water plant, located next to the reservoir on Water Works Road, will be kept partially on-line and act as a pump station connecting the reservoir to the new treatment facility, Flynn said previously. The historic building housing the current operations will be preserved in some way.

WMU funded the new plant through municipal bonds as well as funds provided by WMU.

The new plant will position the community well for residential and industrial growth, Clark County Executive Judge Henry Branham said.

“This project is very important because we want to grow,” Branham said. “We want our children to be educated here … and be able to work here.”

About Lashana Harney

Lashana Harney is a reporter for The Winchester Sun. Her beats include schools and education, business and commerce, Winchester Municipal Utilities and other news. To contact her, email lashana.harney@winchestersun.com or call 859-759-0015.

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